There’s a long list of things fans in Charlotte don’t like about the Bobcats — and it starts with the name Bobcats.
Bob Johnson owned the team from its expansion days, and naming the team the Bobcats was in part naming the team after himself. He turned out to be a pretty pedestrian owner. And by pedestrian we mean crappy. So if the owner named the team after himself and said owner was crappy, ergo… Name change with the new owner.
This wouldn’t be cheap. I spoke with an NBA executive who estimated it would cost the franchise anywhere from $3 million to $10 million to rebrand the team. There are so many signs and logos that would have to be replaced, and any pre-existing merchandise gets deeply discounted or thrown away. (Example: You could have bought an Adam Morrison jersey REALLY cheap last March.)
By the way — that same NBA insider who estimated the cost at $3-$10 million said it would be money well spent.
When Charlotte had the Hornets the name fit (that name referenced a local Civil War story) plus everybody is a little afraid of Hornets. Of course, they are now in New Orleans, where the name makes no sense. What made sense in the Big Easy was Jazz, but they are now in Salt Lake City, home of the nation’s best… tabernacle choir. Not exactly Jazz. And let’s not get into the fact Los Angeles has an ocean, not lakes.
We could go on and on, but every sport has this (there’s about as many trolley Dodgers in Los Angeles as there are lakes). But you live with them because they are traditions. The Bobcats have no traditions, save mediocrity. Time for a new name.
Of course, if new owner Michael Jordan picks the name, they might become the Charlotte Nike Air Jordans. Which would be better than any Fruit of the Loom tie ins.